June 1 2009

Are We Missing Out By Not Text Marketing?

eMarketer.com today reported mobile activities for mobile phone users.  We all know that pretty much everyone has a mobile phone so the following report is important to homebuilders because it reveals opportunities to connect with new home buyers.  

Why does email marketing work?  Because everyone has and uses email.  So what about mobile texting?

The top two mobile phone activities for all generations is 1. taking still photos, and 2., text messaging.  The graph below shows that 86% of Gen Y'ers text on a regular basis, and that 75% of Gen X'ers text on a regular basis.

Yet at the same time, when marketing tactics were evaluated for U.S. marketers, email marketing topped marketing tactics at 73%, while text marketing was deployed a mere 19.6%.  What this all boils down to is that marketers are not meeting consumers where they want to be met.

Only a few short years ago, when it was obvious everyone was either online or getting online, homebuilders were still spending the bulk of the marketing dollars on print.  Over the last couple years, marketing dollars have been shifted and an increasing percentage of those dollars are now focused online. It's common knowledge now that online is the place to spend the dollars and print is NOT.

Everybody has a mobile phone and everybody is texting.  Our texting behaviors are largely why Twitter has become so popular and Twitter is the perfect tool for new home builders to connect and communicate (market) with home shoppers and buyers.  As marketers, we need to begin shifting dollars to more effectively connect with those text lovers. It's my guess that spending dollars on text marketing will be common knowledge by late 2010.  That leaves a year and a half for the homebuilder marketing leaders to exploit the indecision of their competitors.

If we're not attempting to market through texting, we're not participating in the number one mobile phone activity of our consumers.  It would be like not employing an email marketing strategy, or not marketing on the Internet.

Just like the Internet advertising revolution of the last several years, those who adapted early, like Ryland Homes, now CalAtlantic Homes, reaped the benefit when others were paralyzed with indecision. CalAtlantic Homes may have been the first builder to commit to organic SEO while others didn't even know what SEO was.

Today the text revolution has begun.  Those who jump in and begin figuring it out will also reap the benefits and stand out amongst the competition while many others will choose the route of indecision.

Jim Adams - CEO
New Homes Directory.com


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